The Star Wars brand has been one of the longest-lasting movie franchises in the history of cinema. Throughout 12 movies we have been given a very in-depth story that follows a variety of characters travelling across the galaxy. These characters battle each other over hundreds of worlds for control over the republic/empire.
Many movies have tried to replicate what Star Wars has so expertly presented to us but they have failed. A lot of this failure can be attributed to the fact that the writers for Star Wars have created an amazing cast of characters. The characters are believable and there is a humanity to them all that brings the audience in and creates a connection with them.
This connection is even more apparent when you look at the 9 movie saga that is the Skywalker story. To tell a story that spans 9 movies and 44 years you need to have some very impressive character arcs to sustain the saga. We need to follow along with the characters, laughing and crying with them as they learn and grow. This is done incredibly well by the Star Wars writers, for the most part.
Throughout the franchise, there have been some fantastic character arcs but there have also been some that failed to hit the mark. Below we will take a look at the 3 worst character arcs.
Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus
Outside of Darth Vader and the Emperor the Sith are not very well represented in the Star Wars story. They are the baddies of the films so this could be forgiven slightly but they have been done quite the disservice. This can be seen in the story of Count Dooku.
Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus began as the Padawan of Yoda but once he became disillusioned with the Jedi Order he decided to leave and return to his home planet. There he reclaimed his title as a nobleman but also renounced the light side and became the second apprentice of Darth Sidious. Dooku began assisting the Separatist Movement and was instrumental in the formation of both the Separatist Droid Army and the Clone Army.
After his battle with Yoda, Obi-Wan and Anakin Dooku remained as the apprentice of Darth Sidious until the beginning of the Revenge of the Sith. When Chancellor Palpatine was abducted by Dooku and General Grievous, Jedi’s Obi-Wan and Anakin led a rescue mission to Grievous’ ship above Coruscant. The ensuing battle resulted in the Chancellor, or Darth Sidious, demanding that Anakin kill Dooku. Anakin obliges the Chancellor and takes the head of Dooku setting him on the path to the Dark Side.
For how great a villain Dooku was in the Star Wars series his character arc was terrible. He was expertly acted by Christopher Lee and it would have been great to see this character get introduced in an earlier movie. To have him be the main antagonist of the second movie only to have him unceremoniously killed off minutes into the third is a disservice to the character. We can understand that this was done to make way to Anakin’s turn but there was so much more than could have been with the character.
Yet another great Sith character that was given quite the terrible character arc. Darth Maul became one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars Universe after his appearance in The Phantom Menace but alas that is as far as he went.
Coming from a race of beings that were raised to hate the Jedi Order, Maul was the perfect first apprentice for Darth Sidious. Maul was trained, by Sidious, in the ways of the Dark Side and became very powerful. He was very skilled with a lightsaber and he was one of the few who would use a double blade.
It was during the Invasion of Naboo that we were first introduced to Darth Maul when he attacked Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. The two barely escaped the Sith Lord but the existence of the Sith was revealed to the Jedi during this battle, which was the point of Mauls’ attack.
Following that battle, there was another great appearance by Maul in the first Star Wars prequel. When the Battle of Naboo was raging on, the two Jedi’s were in the Naboo Palace leading the charge when Darth Maul cut off their advance. This led to one of the better lightsaber duels in the Star Wars movies as the two Jedi fought the Sith Lord throughout the Palace.
It was a great back and forth that lasted for quite a long time and resulted in the deaths of both Maul and Jinn. Yes, the death of Maul was retconned later but for the character arc in the Star Wars movies, Maul is dead.
Darth Maul is another Sith that was given the short end of the stick when it comes to his character arc. His introduction was fantastic and the look was great but that is where it ends for the Sith. It would have been better to see him remain as a character going into the second movie and it would have allowed the writers to flush out the character more. Alas, we were left with a whetted appetite and nothing else.
There couldn’t be anyone else included on this list until the mention of the travesty that is Boba Fetts character arc.
Boba was the unaltered clone of Jango Fett. In the prequel trilogy, we get to see Boba as a young boy at the side of his father on both Kamino and Geonosis. During the Battle of Geonosis, Jango is beheaded by Jedi Master Mace Windu while Boba is standing beside his father. It is a defining life moment for Boba as it began his path towards being a bounty hunter. The Fett man chose to learn the ways of his father and he became the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy.
We then catch back up with Boba Fett in the Empire Strikes back when he is contracted by the Empire to hunt down Han, Leia, and company. He is able to track the group to Cloud City where, along with the Empire, Boba Fett freezes Han Solo in carbonite. It is a huge victory for Boba Fett and goes to show how great of a character that he is. He managed to succeed where the Empire had failed at every turn.
After taking Han to Jabba The Hutt to collect his bounty, Boba Fett decides to hang out at the palace for a while. This is where he ultimately meets his demise. During the breakout of prisoners, Luke and Leia, Boba Fett is killed in the most insulting of ways. Fett has his jet pack accidentally set off by a blind Han Solo, sending him into the pit of the Sarlacc. Now yes, as with Darth Maul, I am aware that this is retconned later, but not in the movies, we are sticking with the 9 movie storyline.
To have such a great character like Boba Fett go out in this unceremonious manner was a travesty. He came from a great linage and had built himself to be the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. It was a necessary death scene to film that’s not in question. In Return of the Jedi, all antagonists needed to die but it would have been better to give Boba Fett a better send-off. A death that is worthy of the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy.